Obstetrical Emergencies Portage County EMS Patient Care Guidelines

Portage County EMS
Patient Care Guidelines
Obstetrical Emergencies
This protocol is intended to cover obstetrical emergencies up to the point of active delivery
(bleeding, pre-eclampsia/ eclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion, etc.). For
emergencies related to active labor, refer to the Childbirth Guidelines.
Consider that any unexplained abdominal complaints in a woman of child bearing age may be an
obstetrical emergency
Eclampsia occurs in pregnant patients with “preeclampsia”. Preeclampsia is a syndrome that
involves hypertension [2] and output of protein in the urine.
Eclampsia occurs when seizures and/or coma develop between the 20th week of pregnancy and
the 4th week after delivery
There is a significant associated risk of death for the mother and the baby. Maternal
complications of eclampsia include: placental abruption, hemorrhagic stroke, pulmonary edema,
cardiac arrest, and postpartum hemorrhage.
Hypertension during pregnancy is defined by a systolic pressure over 140 mmHg and a diastolic
pressure over 90 mmHg. Pregnancy usually lowers the blood pressure. A rise in the blood
pressure after the 20th week of gestation is worrisome for preeclampsia. Eclampsia sometimes
occurs even in women with blood pressures below 140/90 mmHg.
Assessment Findings
Chief Complaint
“Abdominal pain”, “Vaginal bleeding”, “Cramping”, “Swelling”, ”Dizzyness”,
“Visual changes”, “Gush of fluid from vagina”
Symptom onset; due date, time contractions started & how often, location of
their OB/GYN physician
Headache, weakness, abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding/ discharge,
Hypertension medications; number of prior pregnancies including this one
(gravid) & number of deliveries (para); past delivery history (duration of labor,
complications); pre-natal care; report of protein in the urine
Check ABC’s and correct any immediate life threats
Vitals: BP, HR, RR, Temp, SpO2
General Appearance: Altered level of consciousness, pale, diaphoretic?
Anxiety? Signs of trauma? Edema of hands and face? Seizing or postictal?
Incontinent (bowel, bladder)?
HEENT: PERRL? Pupils constricted or dilated? Visual changes?
Lungs: Rales? Wheezes?
Heart: Rate and rhythm? Signs of hypoperfusion or hypertension?
Neuro: Altered level of consciousness? Seizures? Dizzyness? Focal
Vaginal Exam: Crowning, leaking fluids, bleeding
Blood glucose, SpO2, ETCO2
Maintain ABC’s; terminate seizures; DO NOT attempt to treat maternal
hypertension in the field.
Cardiac monitoring, repeat vitals, capnography
Initial Exam
Detailed Focused
Goals of Therapy
Routine Medical Care
Obstetrical Emergencies Guideline
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If unconscious with a stable airway, pregnant patients should be placed in the recovery
position on their left side
Administer oxygen 2 – 4 LPM per nasal cannula if SpO2 < 94%. Increase flow and
consider non-rebreather mask to keep SpO2 > 94%
If vaginal bleeding, absorb bleeding with pads. Keep pads and any discharged tissue
and transport to hospital with patient.
Give a status report to the ambulance crew by radio ASAP.
IV normal saline @ KVO
If SBP < 100 mmHg, initiate a fluid bolus of 500 ml normal saline
Consider a second IV for continued hypotension
Notify Medical Control as soon as possible so that the receiving hospital can prepare for
an emergent delivery
Cardiac monitoring
Magnesium sulfate is the medication of choice for eclamptic seizures. Consider a
paramedic intercept
If the patient is actively seizing, give midazolam[1] intranasal(IN) via mucosal atomizer.
o >50 kg: 10 mg IN
o <50 kg: 0.2 mg/kg IN
If IN administration is not possible, consider midazolam 1 – 5 mg IM
Once an IV has been established, consider midazolam 1 – 5 mg IV/IO for continued
Titrate IV dose to effect. May repeat once in 5 minutes. Maximum total dose 10 mg
Contact Medical Control for the following:
• Additional medication and airway management orders for continued seizures
For pre-ecclampsia/ ecclampsia (seizure activity or SBP > 160) administer magnesium
sulfate (MgSO4) 4 grams IV/IO SLOW (over 10 min)
o Monitor patient closely for hypotension, muscle weakness (including
respiratory muscle paralysis), and heart rhythm disturbances
Contact Medical Control for the following:
• IM MgSO4 orders if unable to establish IV/IO
• Additional medication and airway management orders for continued seizures
[1] In the event of a midazolam medication shortage:
a. Lorazepam 1 – 2 mg adults IM/IN/IV/IO or
b. Diazepam 1 – 5 mg adults IM/IV/IO.
Obstetrical Emergencies Guideline
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Date of Origin: 3/25/14
Medical Director Approval:
Date of This Revision:
Electronically Signed
Date of Review:
Timothy Vayder, DO, FACOEP
Obstetrical Emergencies Guideline
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